The three wards in Maroondah are being hotly contested with eleven candidates each in Arrabri and Mullum and fourteen in Wyreena. While a large number of candidates should be a celebration of local democracy, it is unfortunate that a large number of these candidates appear to be merely running mates for candidates linked with developers.
Fortunately the Maroondah Journal has reported on the growing concern of these candidates as they appear to be crowding out the genuine contenders in the upcoming council elections.
Cr Makin says he is concerned with an influx of candidates aligned with “over-zealous developers who do not hold the community at heart.”
A number of the candidates that are standing have not even regularly attended council meetings let alone have any lasting involvement with community groups. In addition the flow of preferences by some candidates, particularly in Mullum and Wyreena Ward, clearly demonstrates the use of dummy candidates and a reliance on preferences rather than securing public support.
“While one would expect that they should declare an interest, given that Maroondah’s planning decisions are often made outside a public council meeting, none of this would actually be on the public record,” Cr Makin said. “It means each of these candidates would be able to influence the decision despite the interest that they hold.”
I urge the residents and ratepayers of Maroondah to clearly examine the preferences of the candidates standing for election. Make sure that you check whether the candidate has a website, lives in the ward they are seeking to represent and whether they are blatantly relying on the preferences of others.
Maroondah needs candidates and councillors that are committed to making a difference and not people that are pursuing their own hidden agendas.